What is Courier Insurance?
Courier insurance is a specialist form of vehicle insurance designed to protect anybody using their vehicle to transport other people’s goods in return for payment. It’s designed to cover you and your vehicle while you’re on the road and to move things from A to B and to protect you from the additional risks you can be exposed to when working as a courier.
You may see it referred to as “Hire and Reward” insurance online; however, the two usually refer to something slightly different. Hire and Reward typically refers to the part of the policy that specifically covers you for courier work, and can be sold as a part-time or “pay-as-you-go” policy, meaning you’re only covered while you work. While these policies can be cost-effective, questions are surrounding their legality in certain situations.
You may find Courier insurance significantly more expensive than traditional social, domestic & pleasure vehicle insurance. Given the risks couriers face while they’re on the road, it isn’t necessarily surprising:
- Spending long hours on the road
- Driving to unfamiliar destinations
- Parking is difficult locations, often roadside
- Needing to ‘make up time’ on tight delivery schedules
Courier insurance UK
The market for UK Courier insurance is a fairly complicated one. Those driving a van can usually find cover without too much trouble. But drivers wanting to use their personal car for courier services may struggle to line up the suitable cover. Many car drivers opt for a part-time/top-up/pay-as-you-go coverage, like the one offered by Zego. This insurance covers them while they’re driving as a courier/delivery person, and relies on their Social, Domestic & Pleasure (SD&P) coverage to insure them while they’re on the road for non-business purposes.
However, many SD&P providers do not accept top-up coverage as valid. This means if you’re involved in an accident, it’s possible your insurer would be within their rights to refuse to cover you, leaving you uninsured (it’s illegal to be on the road uninsured in the UK). In that case, if you were responsible for an accident you’d be liable for any damages caused – your insurance wouldn’t cover a penny.
There are two ways to avoid this – firstly, if you eventually decide a top-up policy makes the most sense for you, contact your SD&P insurer immediately to make sure they allow this. Otherwise, a full-time Courier insurance policy, which is typically structured as an annual policy, will usually include your SD&P coverage within it, so you’ll be insured by the same insurer whether you’re driving for work or social purposes.
Courier insurance quote
As with any form of insurance, the best way to save money is to compare quotes from as many providers as possible. Using a specialist comparison site can help you view multiple quotes in a short time. Alternatively, a specialist broker might help; either way, you might need to make enquiries with more than one company.
Keep in mind that many smaller or more specialist insurers don’t advertise through aggregators. It’ll be worth checking the prices with a couple of these businesses – they might not always compete on cost. Still, they can deliver an excellent, personalised service that might make sense if you’re not focused on getting the cheapest possible price.
Cheap Courier insurance
Saving on Courier insurance to find a cheap deal isn’t too complicated – many of the ways you might save on an SD&P vehicle insurance policy still apply here. These might include:
- More years of driving experience
- A smaller, less powerful vehicle
- Less ‘risky’ locations (away from cities, airports, etc.)
- Paying upfront, opting for a higher excess
- Parking in a secure garage overnight
One unique way you might save money as a courier depends on where you drop off and pick up your deliveries to and from. If you’re picking up deliveries roadside (think Deliveroo, UberEats), then you’re likely to have to pay more. If you’re collecting a delivery from and finishing your route at a bespoke delivery location (think car dealership, warehouse), then you may find your quote considerably cheaper – make sure to specify with your insurer and see if you can save.
How much does Courier insurance cost?
Courier van insurance policies typically start from around £1,300 – £1,700 a year (a monthly cost of roughly £110 – £140) for comprehensive cover. Cars used for courier services usually cost more to insure, with prices easily hitting £260 per month for Comprehensive cover for a typical driver. Hourly Hire and Reward typically cost between £1-£3 per hour on top of your underlying SD&P cover.
Courier Van coverage is considerably cheaper because the market has existed for much longer, as the UK’s logistics market has relied on the “man with a van” for many years.
A Courier Motorbike policy will likely cost around £195 monthly. It’s cheaper than a Car policy, reflecting the lower average value of a bike, but might be more expensive than you expect – probably because accidents involving a bike are more likely to include some form of injury.
Finally, keep in mind that Hire and Reward insurance matches the level of your existing insurance, so if you only hold a Third Party Only or Third Party, Fire and Theft coverage then you won’t be protected for damages to other vehicles while on the road.